Recently, I was meeting some new people, telling a little about myself, when a woman responded to me with a, " So you're really into that health stuff?" It was a simple enough question. But I was actually pretty taken back by it. It was as if when I told her I had a baby, she had asked something ridiculous like, "so you're really into making humans?" Yes, I am certainly more interested and invested in health and fitness than most, but I can only assume she had pegged me for "one of those extreme fitness types", ready to motivate you at the drop of a hat and turn down your homemade cookies.
And there it is, the reason so many of us give up or stay where we are. The pursuit of health or a more svelte physique seem all-consuming, exhausting, and well, just not fun. But what has been on my mind a lot lately and what we hope more of us can embrace is not the elusive ideal of perfect health, but rather, wholeness. As a human striving to be a better human, the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of my being all have to be a part of that; with the things I eat, how I condition my body, how I deal with my emotions, and how I respond to others. And to be the strong, happy person I strive to be, I have to start with being honest with myself. It's simple. I can't grow into the person I want to be if I'm covering up my feelings with food. I can't find peace and self confidence if I'm always obsessing over losing 5 lbs or what I did or didn't eat. And I can't be what my son needs me to be if I'm exhausted and undernourished.
History and society have made a mess of how we view our bodies. There is such disconnect between how we look and how we feel. Either we want to be skinny or we want to enjoy life and embrace our curves. Like we have to choose. And there is so much more than just that. There is so much more that can come from our healthy choices, day by day, one at a time. It is a cumulative effect of goodness, building and architecting our minds and our souls with our bodies. We can have wholeness AND our best body. But we have to be little better to ourselves; more accepting of our shape, more nourishing with our food, more fulfilling with our movement, more realistic with our expectations, and more nurturing with our thoughts. Goodness begets goodness, so fill yourself up.